Weapons Charge Defense Lawyers in Columbus, OH
The majority of Ohio’s weapons laws appear in Chapter 2923 of the state’s code, which is titled “Conspiracy, Attempt, and Complicity; Weapons Control; Corrupt Activity.” This points to two hard and fast truths. First, simply possessing certain items defined under law as weapons can be considered criminal in some circumstances. Second—and a major reason anyone facing a weapons charge in Columbus or elsewhere across the Buckeye State needs a high-quality, hardworking defense attorney from Leist Warner—the alleged illegal possession, transportation, sale, brandishing, or use of a weapon often gets prosecuted at the same time as other criminal charges.
What Counts as a Weapon?
While handguns probably spring immediately to most people’s minds when hearing the phrase “weapons crime,” Ohio law includes many items within that definition. In addition to revolvers and pistols, rifles, shotguns, explosives, and tools such as nail guns are considered weapons by police and prosecutors. Chapter 2923 also makes special mention of “ballistic knives,” meaning switchblades, and of zip guns. Rarely seen these days, a zip gun can be constructed from materials as simple as rubber bands and sticks.
Several Types of Weapons Crimes Are Recognized
Whether an item classified as a weapon is used during the commission of an assault, robbery, burglary, or homicide, doing any of the following with or to a weapon can bring a criminal charge in Ohio:
- Filing false paperwork concerning the sale, purchase, or ownership history of a weapon
- Removing serial numbers from a firearm
- Trespassing while possessing a weapon
- Having a weapon in a bar, school zone, courthouse, or area where signs banning weapons are visible
- Using a weapon while drunk or high
- Carrying or owning a weapon while on parole or eluding arrest
- Selling a weapon to a person prohibited by law from purchasing one
- Improperly or unsafely discharging a weapon even if no gets injured
Special Rules Apply to Concealed Weapons
Possessing a weapon in Ohio requires applying for and receiving a state- or federally-issued license. This applies to explosives and firearms, but not to tools and other items that can be converted into weapons. In order to go armed in public with a weapon on one’s person and hidden from view, a special concealed carry permit is also required. Failing to acquire and maintain a concealed carry permit makes one susceptible to conviction for committing a felony even if no other offenses occur.
Contact a Columbus, Ohio, Weapons Crimes Attorney
The right to bear arms is guaranteed, but laws for licensing and safely using weapons exist. Violating Ohio’s statutes related to firearms and other items defined as weapons can be surprising easy, leaving people who simply made mistakes facing serious criminal penalties. Additionally, the mere presence of a weapon raises any number of misdemeanor offenses to the level of felonies. If you find yourself in such situations, contact an experienced weapons crime defense lawyer with Leist Warner through this website or by calling (614) 222-1000. We offer free consultations, and we stand ready to answer your questions even if we cannot take your case.